The RSPCA alone rescued almost 130k animals last year, thankfully many were rehomed and now living very happy lives with their very special owners.
If you are thinking about adopting your own dog or cat, and giving the love and security to a beautiful beast who hasn’t had the best start in life, read on to find out a little more about the process, what to expect, and how best to prepare, and hopefully you will soon be welcoming a new addition to the family.
Search online for local rescues centres and you will find hundreds, as well as the bigger name ones there are smaller charities in your area you may have had no idea existed. A nice resource for the smaller centres is here
Each centre will have their own policies on rehoming, some will require a home visit, others are happy to get all the information about yourself and your home from a registration form and a chat with you. It is possible in some instances to leave on the same day with a new companion, however, they will want to make sure from what you have described as your lifestyle, your preferences, family situation, commitments, hobbies etc the dog or cat is the right one for you.
Making sure you are right for each
Centres which have a foster home system will know a little more about how the dog behaves in a home environment, the staff will be able to tell you why it was fostered and how it has settled in.
Questions to ask...
Rescue centres and their staff will want only the best for you and the animal, they do not want either of you to go through the saddening experience of needing to return them, that being said, sometimes it doesn’t work out, which is why they want to find out as much about you as possible in advance.
Just like any interview lots of information will get covered prior to rehoming, it’s a good idea to take notes, and come prepared with some questions which may have not have been discussed. The questions below provide a good checklist, most will be covered as part of the registration process, and some may not apply if you are rehoming a cat:
- Why were they put up for adoption in the first place? How long have they been at the centre?
- Have they been in foster care or adopted before?
- Some centres will have already done this for you, and they will certainly inform you of the status, but make sure you know whether the dog or cat has been spayed or neutered.
- Do they have any medical issues?
- Any behavioural issues?
- What tick, flea treatments do they have when are they next due?
- Do they have a microchip?
- Are they house trained? (don’t assume all adult dogs or cats are).
- What are they like around other pets, and what are they like around pets of the same sex or opposite? Do they like to play with others? Ask to see how they interact if not done so already.
- What are they like around strangers? Any specific issues with male or females?
- What are they like around children?
- Ask what food they have been eating, dry, raw, hypoallergenic, the quantities, and if they enjoy their food, how are they at food times, what is their behaviour like?
- Any allergies?
- What do they like to sleep in? Can you take a blanket home with you to help settle them in?
- Have they been to a groomer before, how are they around baths, their fur being brushed, nails being trimmed?
- How much exercise do they need?
- How are they at being left alone?
- How are they in the car?
- What sort of training have they had, do they know basic commands?
- What are they like on the lead?
- What is their recall like? Do they come back when called?
All dogs or cats will take time to settle in, and hopefully, you will find one that is the perfect match for you and your family, remember to be patient and look into classes in your area to help with any training or socialisation support you may need. The rewards are huge, but take your time to make sure you are selecting the right dog or cat for you.